November/December 2017

Our annual Independent Publishing Issue includes information about fifty magazines and five small presses accepting submissions with no reading fees; a profile of poet Kevin Young, author of a new nonfiction book, Bunk, and the new poetry editor of the New Yorker; our second annual 5 Over 50 roundup of debut authors; William Giraldi on James Baldwin; a look at how book advances work; self-publishing advice; writing prompts; and more. 

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Features

The Poet At Work

by Clint Smith
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With a new book of nonfiction, Bunk, a new job as director of a leading research center on black culture, and a new role as poetry editor of the New Yorker, Kevin Young is fully engaged in a personal program of moving multitudes. 

5 Over 50

by Staff
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Five writers over the age of fifty whose debut books were released this year: Jimin Han, Laura Hulthen Thomas, Karen E. Osborne, Tina Carlson, and Peg Alford Pursell. Excerpts of their books are available in 5 Over 50 Reads 2017.

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News and Trends

The African Poetry Book Fund

by Belinda Acosta

Based at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and led by Kwame Dawes, the African Poetry Book Fund supports and celebrates pan-African poetry. 

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The Practical Writer

Getting Paid: How Book Advances Work

by Michael Bourne
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A behind-the-scenes look at the inexact science—and mathematics—of book advances, from small presses to the Big Five. 

Your Rights Revert: What to Do If Your Publisher Goes Under

by Stephanie Dickinson
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A small-press editor offers four possible paths to take if the Oh No! moment arrives and your publisher closes its doors.

The Savvy Self-Publisher: Vinnie Kinsella

by Debra Englander
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Vinnie Kinsella shares the process of self-publishing an essay anthology, Fashionably Late: Gay, Bi, and Trans Men Who Came Out Later in Life. An editor and a publicist weigh in.

The Literary Life

The Art of Reading James Baldwin: The Truth of Our Pain

by William Giraldi
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A close look at how the Notes of a Native Son author’s religious contentions permeate through the wisdom and imagination of his prose. 

The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises

by Staff
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Use found language to compose a poem, incorporate video games into a story, or write an essay on selflessness—three prompts to bring your writing to life this winter.

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